— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) October 30, 2023
Armita Garawand, the 17-year-old Iranian Kurdish girl who was pronounced dead on Saturday 28 October after 28 days in a coma, was buried in Tehran on Sunday.
Garawand was allegedly confronted by the country’s morality police for not wearing the compulsory hijab covering for women when she was travelling on a metro train in Tehran on 1 October.
During the encounter, her head was reportedly banged against a pole as she was removed from the train. However, Iranian security forces have disputed this, saying that Garawand fainted due to a sudden drop in blood pressure.
In the aftermath of the incident, Iranian state media broadcast interviews with Garawand’s parents in which they spoke about a number of possible reasons for their daughter’s fall and injuries. The circumstances of these statements are unclear, but there are reports that the family have been under threat from the Iranian authorities and have been coerced into giving these interviews.
Her funeral took place amid a heavy security presence in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. Her family members said that they were forbidden from transporting Armita’s remains to their hometown of Kermanshah.
Footage posted on social media shows a large gathering of men and women at Garawand’s funeral, and there are unconfirmed reports that several people, including family members, were arrested during the ceremony.
As one of the regions with a heavy Kurdish population, Kermanshah saw large anti-government protests after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina Masha Amini in morality police custody in September 2022. Garawand’s death has drawn similarities with Amini’s, and the decision by state forces to hold the funeral in Tehran may have been an attempt to stop the unrest from spiralling out of control in the Kurdish-majority west of the country, as reported by VOA news.